# Common questions

## Mathematics

**What do I do with a liberal arts mathematics degree? **

Most liberal arts mathematics majors pursue an advanced degree after graduating from Concordia. Typically these students continue in a field related to mathematics. Some examples are mathematics, statistics, operations research, computer science, engineering and business. You shouldn’t think of graduate school as 2 or 4 more years of school, rather you should think of it as the start of your career. You will be taking classes, but you will also be teaching or doing research and getting paid for it.

**What are the mathematics options for a student in the education program?**

Elementary and middle level students can choose math as an area of emphasis. Each of these requires 18 credit hours of course work.

Secondary education students can choose a mathematics subject endorsement which is combined with another subject endorsement. The other option is to complete the mathematics field endorsement. The subject endorsement requires 36 hours of coursework and the field endorsement requires 51 hours of coursework. The field endorsement includes all of the coursework required to obtain a liberal arts mathematics major.

**How many students are in the mathematics program at Concordia?**

Each year approximately 15 students graduate with either a liberal arts math major or with an education degree having math as an area of specialization.

**Can I obtain credit for a calculus class I took in high school?**

There are several ways to receive credit for at least one semester of calculus:

- Obtain a score of 3 or higher on the AP Calculus AB Exam or AP Calculus BC Exam.
- Transfer credit from another college or university earned through a dual enrollment high school class.
- Successfully complete the Credit by Exam offered by the Mathematics Department at Concordia.

**How big are the math classes at Concordia?**

Most courses taken by mathematics students have enrollments in the teens. A few upper level courses usually have enrollments of between five and ten students.

## Computer science

**
What is computer science? **

There are many possible definitions of computer science. One way to view computer science is that is a discipline that uses computational and algorithmic methods to solve problems across all disciplines.

**
What courses or experiences should I have if I intend to major in computer science? **

The most valuable experience for a student desiring to enter a computer science program is to have taken a programming course or at least to have written computer program on their own. An aptitude and interest in simply executing application programs of different kinds is not necessarily a good indicator that a student will be successful in a computer science program.

Students who have been successful in computer science programs have often also done well in other areas such as mathematics, physical and natural sciences, and music. And we have had students in many other programs such as pre-sem, the physical and natural sciences, music, physical education, and mathematics be successful in computer science.

**
What courses or other preparation is necessary to major in computer science? **

The initial courses that a student would complete in computer science are programming courses. The computer science programs build upon that foundation; essentially every other course in the program requires some programming since the programming is the critical element in which students are able to apply the theory to the practice.

Our graduates have provided excellent feedback that the application of computer science concepts through programming have enabled them to develop strong skills that are essential to their professions. Other courses in the programs focus upon data structures and algorithm, operating systems, language, hardware, networking, database concepts, graphical methods, numerical analysis and discrete structures.

**
What programs does Concordia offer in computer science? **

Concordia offers a B.S. in Computer Science that requires 39 hours of computer science courses and 21 hours of mathematics courses. Many of the students who complete this program opt to also complete the B.S. in Mathematics program. Concordia also offers a B.A. in Computer science that requires 39 hours of computer science. Many students in the B.A. program have academic interests in other disciplines and often complete a double major. Students may also elect to complete a B.S. in Management Information Systems that requires 60 hours, 27 of which are computer science courses. Additionally, students in the secondary education program may complete a subject endorsement in computer science.

**
What can I do with a degree in computer science when I graduate? **

The only two real, limiting factors are where you want to live and what kind of work you would like to do. Computer science skills are applicable in virtually every other profession; typical jobs include programmers, system administrators, database administrators (DBAs), and hardware designers and technicians. The job market in computer science continues to be among the leaders across all disciplines.

Employers have been impressed with the quality and skills of graduates from Concordia’s computer science program and frequently send requests for additional candidates. A number of our graduates continue on to graduate school where they have been very successful in receiving a master’s degree or a doctorate in computer science.